Over the years we have had a variety of different farm animals. In the early years the children had horses, which was a lot of fun but very expensive!!
We joined the local pony club, which was a wonderful experience for all of us, though could take over the weekends! When child number three wanted a horse, a horse float was no longer adequate and we bought an old horse truck that had been more or less left derelict (again buying old and spending an inordinate amount of time and money fixing it up!). We set up a great seating/sleeping area in the back and the kids had a lot of fun sitting in the back watching the horses (and the long line of traffic behind us!)
Our children also each had an animal that they looked after, and then would be able to take the offspring to the market for sale and earn their pocket money. This was another great lesson on responsibility in terms of caring for a living thing, but also that you need to put in the effort to reap the rewards.
Now, we tend to keep animals mainly for food. It took us a long time to reach this stage, but eventually it seemed hypocritical to keep animals, sell the offspring (if we could!), and then go to the shops and buy meat. We had some experience with what was easy to keep, such as poultry, and decided to give it a go. Now we breed rabbits, ducks, chooks, turkeys and sheep, plus keep fish in the swimming pool and aquaponic system for food, and bees for honey. Our breeding stock have names, but not the offspring. The guinea fowl come and go at will and are more for entertainment than food!